DENIM DISH

Jeans Brands Head for the Hills
A trio of jeans brands — Polo Jeans Co., DKNY Jeans and Jill Stuart Jeans — will participate in “Vogue Takes Beverly Hills,” an annual five-day event beginning April 18 that consists of in-store events, parties and other promotional activities staged in and around Beverly Hills by Vogue magazine advertisers.
Polo Jeans, which is made under license by Jones Apparel Group, will invite select Vogue subscribers to “Polo Jeans Co.’s Perfect Fit Day,” scheduled to take place April 21 in the women’s department at Bloomingdale’s in Century City.
Vogue merchandising editor Annie Rinella will be on hand to offer advice to shoppers in search of a flattering pair of jeans, a Polo Jeans spokesman said.
The first 30 people to visit the Polo Jeans department who bring the invitation sent in the mail will receive a gift bag filled with Polo Jeans products.
Ross Klein, senior vice president of corporate marketing at Polo Jeans, said the company “recognizes the brand equities of both Vogue and Bloomingdale’s as they relate to Polo Jeans Co., and fashion, in general.”
“In order to create a heightened sense of merchandising within the retail environment, we have created this triangular partnership that supports our consumer experiences,” Klein said.
Also on April 21, DKNY Jeans will stage a fashion presentation of its junior spring-summer collection at a Teen Vogue event at the Century Supper Club in Los Angeles.
“The Teen Vogue event is a perfect opportunity for DKNY Jeans Juniors to present our line in association with one of the most exciting teen magazine launches ever,” a spokeswoman said.
Jill Stuart Jeans on April 22 will stage a fashion presentation featuring its spring-summer collection, produced by New York-based Alpha Garment, on a runway constructed on Rodeo Drive. The boutique-lined street will be closed to traffic for part of the day, a spokeswoman for the event said.
Alpha Garment president Charles Jebara said the fashion presentation will be both the line’s first consumer-oriented and West Coast event since it launched this spring.
“Throughout the life of any brand, you need to have a consistent presence in the press and in advertising,” he said. “But I think you really need to hit people over the head with the message, particularly in the beginning, to get your name out there and to establish yourself.”
Other events scheduled during “Vogue Takes Beverly Hills” include in-store events at Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel and Testoni, as well as Rodeo Drive fashion presentations by Hugo Boss and Ermenegildo Zegna.

Raises for VF’s Top Execs
Earnings at apparel giant VF Corp. may have been off last year, but that wasn’t the case for the company’s six top executives.
According to the firm’s proxy statement, recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the compensation committee raised the base salaries and bonuses of the Greensboro, N.C.-based company’s top officials, a move it said reflected the firm’s revenue growth and successful acquisitions.
Chairman, president and chief executive officer Mackey McDonald received a package totaling $1.74 million, including $834,000 in salary, a $878,000 bonus and $30,000 in other compensation. That came in 27.6 percent ahead of the $1.37 million McDonald was paid in 1999.
In the filing, the compensation committee said, “While VF did not fully achieve all of its financial goals for 2000” under McDonald’s leadership, its sales reached an all-time high, “margins were at healthy levels and VF continued to maintain its strong financial position.”
Overall, VF’s net income for 2000, excluding one-time charges, was off 6.1 percent, to $343.8 million. Net sales were up 3.5 percent, to $5.75 billion, boosted by the company’s acquisitions over the past year, which included the Chic, HIS and Gitano jeans brands, the North Face brand of outdoor apparel and Eastpak.
John Schamberger, chairman of the company’s jeanswear coalition, was paid $833,000, up 21.6 percent from $685,000.
Dan MacFarlan, who in October stepped down as chairman of the company’s intimate apparel coalition, was paid $848,000 in his last year with the company.
None of VF’s top officials executed stock options during the year.

Tarrant Ups Mexican Production
Tarrant Apparel Group last Friday said it has purchased for $11 million a 100,000-square-foot sewing facility in Ajalpan, Mexico.
Tarrant, a Los Angeles-based private-label manufacturer of moderate-priced casual wear, purchased the facility from Mexico’s Confecciones Jamil SA de CV.
“Not only have we acquired the land, buildings and all operating equipment of Ajalpan, but we have also gained a trained labor force comprised of approximately 2,000 skilled workers allowing for a seamless transition,” chairman and chief executive officer Gerard Guez said in a statement.
The facility, built in 1999 and operational in 2000, has the capacity to produce six million units per year, the company said.
A Tarrant spokesman said the plant will “predominantly produce denim bottoms,” but added it has the capabilities to sew twills.
The company, which once produced almost all of its private-label apparel in the Far East, now — after acquiring cut-and-sew operations and fabric mills in Mexico — sources more than half its apparel in the Western Hemisphere.

I.C. Isaacs Seeing Red
Despite strong growth at its Marithe & Francois Girbaud brand, jeansmaker I.C. Isaacs & Co. fell deeper into the red in the fourth quarter, taking a $14 million net loss.
The Baltimore-based company also said it has terminated its license for Boss sportswear, a move which resulted in an $8.1 million pretax charge for the quarter ended Dec. 31. In the fourth quarter of 1999, the company had taken a $4.6 million net loss.
Sales were $17.1 million, up 4.6 percent from the prior year. Girbaud sales rose 74 percent, to $13.9 million. Beverly Hills Polo Club sportswear sales were $1.6 million, off 38.5 percent from a year earlier. Boss sales were $1 million, off 80 percent from $5 million.
The company said that according to the minimum-royalty terms of the Boss licensing agreement, it will pay licensor Ambra Inc. $810,000 this year and $1.7 million a year for the following five years.
Citing the soft retail environment in the fourth quarter, chairman and ceo Robert J. Arnot said, “Although Girbaud continued to generate strong sales growth during this challenging period, a highly promotional environment for jeanswear prevented us from achieving the level of gross profit previously anticipated.”
Danny Gladstone, president of the Girbaud brand, added that the line has continued its strong sales momentum through the first quarter of 2001.
Having lightened itself of the Boss brand and anticipating continued strong performance from Girbaud, Arnot said he expected the firm to be profitable for the first quarter and year.
For 2000, Isaacs recorded a $15.2 million net loss, compared with a $10.2 million loss a year earlier. Sales were $97.3 million, up 15.1 percent. Girbaud sales were up 144 percent, to $67.7 million. Beverly Hills Polo Club sales slipped 11 percent, to $13 million. Boss sales were $11 million, down 70.3 percent.